Jamaican tourism earns $2 million in first eight months of 2017

first_imgEnhancing the retention of the dollar “My mission is to enhance the retention of the dollar from this US$2 Billion. In fact, the latest report from the World Travel & Tourism Council indicates that the retention of the dollar, from the consumption side has risen to 70 percent. The Tourism Linkages Council is going to drive that value added that is needed to take the retention levels in Jamaica from 30 cents to at least 50 cents, for the total dollar that is spent,” said Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett. Bartlett highlighted that direct contribution from tourism to the island’s gross domestic product is 8.4 percent but the induced and indirect contribution is now 27.2 percent. In Jamaica, tourism remains one of the few labor-intensive sectors and directly employs 106,000 Jamaicans while generating indirect jobs for one in four persons, linked to sectors such as agriculture, creative and cultural industries, manufacturing, and construction. Bartlett was speaking at the press briefing to report on the year-old TEF/EXIM Bank Small Medium Tourism Enterprises (SMTE) Loan Facility, at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on August 30. Gross foreign exchange earnings grow by 8.3 percentJamaica’s tourism industry has earned $2 Billion during the first eight months of this calendar year from 2.8 million visitors.  The figure represents an increase of 8.3 percent in gross foreign exchange earnings than the US$1.83 billion earned last year over the same period. In addition, cruise passenger arrivals were up 5.1 percent for the same period. 28 loan applications completedAccording to reports received from the EXIM Bank, as at August 29, 2017, they have received twenty-eight completed loan applications, totaling J$509.9 million, under the SMTE loan program. “The excellent response of SMTEs to the loan facility is proof that it is welcomed and well needed. Operators of SMTEs, who access up to $25 million dollars at 5 percent interest, over 5 years, will now be able to better respond to the demands of our thriving tourism sector,” he said. Twenty-two applications totaling J$408.9 million have also been approved with disbursements to date (August 30, 2017) totaling J$311.16 million, exceeding the initial tranche of J$300 million received for disbursement.last_img

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